Bengals Free Agency

Reggie Nelson: Bengals Free Agent Profile

matthewwillson
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Reggie Nelson (20) runs the ball against the St. Louis Rams in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Reggie Nelson (20) runs the ball against the St. Louis Rams in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports /
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Reggie Nelson is a key piece of the Cincinnati Bengals’ secondary, and the team would be wise to bring him back.

Reggie Nelson, Free Safety

32 years old, 5-foot-11, 206 pounds

Rotoworld ranking: 3rd-ranked safety (behind Eric BerryEric Weddle)

Agent: Enter-Sports Management

Notable 2015 stats: Tied for league lead in interceptions with eight, Tied for seventh in pass deflections (22), and tied for fourth in the NFL with two fumble recoveries.

Reggie Nelson has been a key contributor to the Bengals secondary since he was signed in 2010. In his six years, Nelson has five and a half sacks, 23 interceptions, seven forced fumbles and 62 pass deflections in 93 games played. In fact, since joining the Bengals, he has only missed three games.

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Nelson has been a role model for

George Iloka

and

Shawn Williams

and has continued to get better himself each year–even in his early thirties. Last year was arguably his best season; his on-field impact helped the Bengals become the league’s second-best scoring defense and allow the second-fewest passing touchdowns in football.

He just finished up a four-year contract worth $18 million, and although it is hard to think he will see a contract worth $4.5 million average a year, it is certain he will still see a decent contract over the next two-to-three years. The Bengals should come in around $3.5 million, maybe a little more if they offer non-guaranteed performances bonuses, between base salary, incentives, workout bonuses and roster bonuses.

Next: George Iloka: Free Agent Profile

Nelson isn’t an average safety, and he has a lot of value in his early 30’s–but father time is almost certain to catch up to him, eventually. The key for Cincinnati will be finding the right price for Nelson; the Bengals don’t want to overpay and be stuck with a huge salary on the payroll.

So will the Bengals sign Nelson? Most fans certainly hope so–but it needs to be at the right price.

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